Sometimes I think we writers are gluttons. We aren't easily satisfied. We always want more

Bigger meaning, bigger drama, bigger purpose.

Anais Nin said something similar: that writers are just double-dippers who like to "taste life twice." And isn't it true? Isn't there a precious and intimate editing that happens as we rewind, replay, and rethink; as we hunt for missing connections; as we squint to see furry shapes in the clouds of our story?

But we also write because we fear (and rightfully so) that we missed a whole lot on the first go-around.

Writing helps to slow down living, teaching us to notice. It's buttoned-up thinking, assimilation; it's spring cleaning; it's rummaging around in the junk drawers of our hearts and trying to figure out why this pen won't scribble, how all the stale rubber bands got here, and where in the world the Krazy Glue went (so we can tack a few broken bits back together). 

I love reading about writing almost as much as I love writing itself. I've listed some of my favorite craft books here.


Books about Memoir-CRAFT

Handling the Truth: On the Writing of Memoir by Beth Kephart

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott

Word by Word by Anne Lamott (audio lecture)


Books about the Creative Life

Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative by Austin Kleon

A Year of Writing Dangerously: 365 Days of Inspiration and Encouragement by Barbara Abercrombie

The Getaway Car: A Practical Memoir About Writing and Life (eBook only) by Ann Patchett


Books about STORY Structure & Fiction Technique

Anything by Sol Stein:  

STORY: Substance, Structure, Style, and the Principles of Screenwriting by Robert McKee

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King